The Zambian government has re-introduced forest rangers across the country as it intensified the fight against illegal timber trade that has increased in recent months, Lands Minister Mwansa Kapeya announced Monday.The minister said it was regrettable that illegal trade in timber was on the increase, threatening certain hard wood tree species because of indiscriminate cutting of trees.
He cited one valuable hard wood tree known locally as the mulula tree as one of those that was under threat because of indiscriminate cutting and exporting by illegal logging companies.
He said the rangers would begin patrolling all forest reserves across the country as well as carrying out inspections to ensure that all timber moving around the country had proper documentation.
Several people, including foreigners, have in recent months been arrested for transporting timber from different parts of the country without permits and most of the consignments have been meant for export.
The minister added that once the Forest Rangers were on the ground, the government would go further and would place a blanket ban on the movement of timber in the country so that stringent measures could be put in place to safeguard the forests before exports could be allowed.
( Courtesy AGENCIES ……… Source ………. NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS)